What Crime Fiction Stereotype Would You Make Disappear?

If you read enough crime fiction, you'll eventually notice a few recurring tropes. The tortured PI who drinks too much, for example.

If a genie popped out and said you could eliminate one of these stereotypes forever, which one would you choose? (This genie is picky about the wishes it grants.)

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I got interested enough to look this up.  I ran into a bunch of catholic sources saying it's all some media-hyped discrimination and preachers rape as many little boys as priests, but cite no figures.

Did run into this, which contradicts your unsupported statement:

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2007/06/18/80877.htm

Thing is, what you DON'T see is somebody like the S. Baptist convention running around hushing these things up, threatening the victims with damnation, and transferring the priests to other dioceses where they can continue to molest children.  

The whole idea of Catholics as being some poor little picked-on victims is laughable, frankly.

Let me guess, Muslims are also getting a bad rap, right?   They don't really beat women for reading and as many Lutherans throw acid on women's faces for being seen in the same area as a man and stuff?

Actually, Jonathan, one of the reasons you hear negative news about Catholic priests sexually abusing boys AND girls, is because, unlike the Baptists and other Protestant denominations, Catholic priests take a vow of CHASTITY and are supposed to be celibate. 

And I would really like to see the actual statistics that you cite about there being more Protestant ministers molesting kids than Catholic (supposedly celibate) priests. Please cite your source for these statistics. I want to see it myself.

I haven't read The Name of the Rose, but I did read The Da Vinci Code and discussed it with a book group in New Orleans (which BTW is predominantly and overwhelmingly Catholic). Several of them gave impassioned defenses of Opus Dei, the religious entity with which DVC was concerned, citing its many good works. Others pointed out the great harm that the Catholic Church has done over the centuries to those not of that faith (cited with excellent sources in God Is Not Great, Christopher Hitchens). For the most part, however, we discussed how flat and insipid the characters were, the not so credible plot and things of that nature.     

I don't believe most Americans (protestants, atheists, jews, whatever) enjoy bashing the Catholic Church. However, when the RCC oppresses women (nuns, in particular) and children (by not protecting them from predatory priests and the occasional nun) they quite rightly call attention to it, and why shouldn't they? 

The fact of the matter is that pedophiles seek out professions that put them in touch with children, especially pofessions which promote trust between child and adult.  It's for that reason that priests are frequently guilty of pedophilia (Celibacy may at one time have added additional impetus, but I don't think it is the true cause).  In the same way, there have been recent cases of fundamentalist preachers and of Boy Scout leaders and football coaches.  If it weren't for the fact that most elementary school teachers are female, we might have more pedophilia there also.  The onus on the Catholic church is not that there are pedophile priests, but rather that their activities have been hidden by the church authorities in order to protect the Chruch from the sort of scandal that eventually rocked it.

IJ, I agree with much of what you say and I don't care to harp on this issue. However, I find the hypocrisy of the Catholic Church, and some of its followers, disgusting. FYI: as a professional musician I played 300-400 Catholic weddings and got to know some of the priests rather well. A couple of them were great individuals, but many others were piously sanctimonious. And my one area of disagreement is the celibacy issue. At least one prominent Catholic priest  has estimated that half of all priests are gay and many others have unresolved sexual issues. Yes, pedophiles are everywhere, but celibacy IS an issue that does not arise for public school teachers.  

Priesthood is different from that.   Priests tend to feel their vocation from an early age.  The whole set-up in which ANY sex is just as bad as homo-pedophilia, no legitimate sexual outlet allowed, a hierarchy in which that sort of behavior is coddled rather than punished, and--frankly--a fairly gay imagry set and vocabulary is used around the whole spiritual experience  have got to be a big factor.

It's kind of like, guys don't go to prison to get gay sex, but being there could pressure them in that direction

And of course the chap who goes back to his old home town

But things aren;t the same?

More sinister?

I read that one.  :-)

Soon this thread will eliminate all plots and story devices.  These cliche elements of stories were probably worn out by the height of the Greek classic period.  The reason they hang on is that people are still interested in them.  So, what do we do?  Execution.  It's in the way that you do it. (And other Eric Clapton songs).  I love words of wisdom from rock and roll.

P.S. If anyone actually understands Stairway to Heaven, please explain, then you'll need an appointment with your therapist.  If I understand your explanation, make an appointment for me,too.

Enlighten me, please, Brian. What is Stairway to Heaven

As for eliminating plot and story devices, I actually think that's irrelevant. What's important are well developed characters that the reader can identify or empathize with, characters that leap off the page and grab you by the throat. 

I agree about characters, you are spot on.

You're kidding about Stairway to heaven.  Led Zeppelin?  Number one rock song of all time?  Here!

If you aren't kidding you can hear it a live version here  Here.  Enjoy.  The joke is that the song doesn't make sense.

I've never actually listened to the lyrics. They were all stoned in the 60s/70s anyway so I never expect lyrics to make any sense. Classic rock track though (makes my top 4 along with Freebird, Don't Fear The Reaper and Bat Out of Hell).


What do you mean, I'm off-topic...? :-)

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